This morning some of the muscles I tend to ignore are reminding me, in no uncertain terms, that they exist. I don’t know why I find this surprising. The morning after the first day in the garden is always like this. Admittedly, my hamstrings are not screaming as loudly this morning as they have in the past, though I can hardly take credit for that. If my shoulder were even a little better I’d have stayed out longer yesterday, and I’d be in worse shape today. As it is, I’ve just enough ache in the back of my legs to make sitting at the computer this morning a delightful prospect.
Into the garden early, it was a gentle tidy we managed yesterday; picking up sticks, clearing fallen leaves from the pond, and pulling the few weeds that have dared to show their heads thus far. I finally planted a hardy geranium that I picked up at a boot sale last autumn which had never quite made it into the ground. I cut back and moved the leggy Rose of Sharon, and planted in it’s place a Peace rose, that Tonia brought home last week. It was a good morning’s work, and the place looks tidier, though not quite awake yet. The only thing blooming at present is pulmonaria.
April 1st will mark my ten year anniversary in Wales, and nothing reminds me of the passage of time so much as being in my garden. The hebe purchased in a four inch pot is now the size of an upturned wheel barrow. The honeysuckle that was no more than a collection of sticks pushed into the ground ten years ago, now clambers across the porch railing. Each year it blooms more spectacularly; each year in the garden is better than the last. I regret nothing in my garden but the decision not to plant wisteria a decade ago.
Wisteria is plant that specializes in extended foreplay. It takes a good ten years to ramp up, but the pay off really happens closer to the twenty year mark. Ten years ago I couldn’t imagine being here to watch a spectacular wisteria display and I wasn’t, by god, planting wisteria so that someone else could enjoy it.
What a dummy I was.
A long time ago my Mom gave me a refrigerator magnet, with sunflowers on it and hand lettering that read, “Bloom where you’re planted.” That magnet graced a number of refrigerators over the years, becoming so familiar I eventually stopped reading it. I have no idea where it is now; it somehow missed the move to Wales. I thought of it this weekend while bemoaning the lack of wisteria in my garden. It’s good advice. Thanks, Mom. I’m going to buy some wisteria this year and plant it at the other end of the patio, opposite the honeysuckle.
Thanks so much for the positive comments on my painting. It’s hard to be a beginner, much less to share the stiff awkwardness of my first efforts. It’s nice to remember though that I was every bit as bad at knitting when I first began, and my first two sweaters were ill-fitting disasters. Parts of those first sweaters were excellent, however, and the same holds true for those hollyhock paintings. This little corner, I actually like.
While my own garden is not quite ready to paint, I’ve discovered a source of year-round floral inspiration. This week’s M3 video is from British artist, Ann Blockley, whose book, Watercolour Textures, has been enormously inspirational since I checked it out from the library. I admire her work a great deal, and have ordered her dvd. She seems a person I could quite happily hang out with for an entire day, so I feel certain I’ll enjoy watching her paint over the course of a 90 minute dvd.